Randall Reeves

Musing on the Strength of Anchor Chain During an Arctic Gale

24 Aug

August 23, 2019
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
69 06N 105 09W

Sitting out a gale at anchor is not the same as riding out a gale at sea. In the former case, one is moored in a secure harbor as the storm rolls over, and in the latter, he is being swept along with the forces of nature like a butterfly on an afternoon breeze. But which is safer is an open question.

The adage that contains “any port in a storm” would suggest that given his druthers, a sailor would choose safe haven over running off every time. But this ...

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Cambridge Bay Achieved

23 Aug

August 22, 2019

Mo with Alioth in tow rounded the corner into Cambridge Bay at 11pm last night. Alioth came to anchor over a forty foot shelf in the bay’s West Arm, and Mo took a berth a few hundred feet further on. Another consort to Alioth, Mandragore, also took shelter nearby. 

Shelter. Because change is coming. 

The barometer has been falling slowly but without hesitation for three days. It’s high was 1024mb, and as I type, it reads 985.5mb with no sign of finding bottom. By way of suggesting that such a fall must presage apocalypse, the ice guide, ...

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Cambridge Bay, Almost

22 Aug

August 21, 2019

This log is out of order because I can’t keep up given current happenings. So, a short update now and a more thorough report in coming days.

Mo and I are still closing The Crux of the Matter chapter by an entry into Cambridge Bay. Here awaiting us are a few nights of consistent sleep, the replenishment of our fuel supplies, and hopefully a stroll through town. 

Sadly, hamlets in Arctic Canada contains no brew pubs, and though Cambridge Bay has taken a large step toward metropolitanization by the installation of two restaurants, the last I was ...

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The Crux of the Matter, I

20 Aug

Aug 16th
Underway from Graham Harbor

All day the sea birds are flying the other way. They are headed out of the ice maze, out into Lancaster, back into Baffin and south. Winter migration has begun. All the while, Mo pushes further into the heart of it.

Last evening’s ice charts show improved conditions. Above Bellot, the ice is about 3/10ths for long stretches, but below there’s still a tongue of 7/10ths above Tasmania Islands.

And then there’s the difference between the report and actual. Alioth is a day ahead of Mo by now, and Vincent reports, “We just ...

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20 Aug

August 19, 2019
1845 local
70 32S  97 27W
Larsen Sound
The Arctic

Just a quick note to report that Mo is through the ice and sailing fast on a N wind for Cambridge Bay, 235 miles SW. 

I have been pushing to get to Alioth’s position for two days. She has a busted gear box and can’t make more than three knots under power. She has been hove to at the head of our last major ice plug waiting for an escort as she’d have to sail through, a tricky business. 

We’ve all been sweating bullets over this last ...

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While Mo and Randall navigate we’ll give you a quick update.

19 Aug

Hello fabulous followers of the Figure 8 Voyage.

If you’ve been following the voyage you’ll know that Mo and Randall are currently navigating a pretty tricky portion of the North West Passage. Like you, we’re all holding our breath here a little. Randall won’t be posting today as we want him watching for bergs and navigating so you’re going to hear from us.

Couple of quick updates:


If you’d like to watch an interview Randall made with another adventurer Greg Horner. Taken while Randall was up in St. John’s Newfoundland take a look below.


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Peel Sound, With Trepidation

18 Aug

August 16, 2019

Days at Sea: 262
Days Since Departure: 320

Noon Position: 74 20N  90 54W 
Course(t)/Speed(kts): WxS 6.5
Wind(t/tws): –
Sea(t/ft): –
Sky/10ths Cover: Clear 0 
Bar(mb): 1015, steady
On-deck Temp(f): 57
Cabin Temp(f): 68
Water Temp(f): 35 (note water temp is steadily dropping.)
Relative Humidity(%): 36
Magnetic Variation: -25./3

Sail: Under power with double reefed main as steadying sail 

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 45 from Graham
Miles since departure: 33,948

Miles to Gjoa Haven: 590

In bed by 11pm. Alarm set for 4am. Awake by 3am, wide-eyed. Underway for Peel Sound.

Over the last few ...

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Dundas Harbor to Graham Harbor

17 Aug

August 15, 2019

Days at Sea: 261
Days Since Departure: 319

Noon Position: 74 27N  85 02W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): W 6.5
Wind(t/tws): 0
Sea(t/ft): 0
Sky/10ths Cover: Clear/0 
Bar(mb): 1014, steady
On-deck Temp(f): 60
Cabin Temp(f): 63
Water Temp(f): 38
Relative Humidity(%): 43
Magnetic Variation: -34.4

Sail: Motoring under double reefed main

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 42 since departing Dundas
Miles since departure: 33,850

Anchor down Dundas Harbor by 9:30pm after a brisk, glorious beam reach across Lancaster. What joy, to sail! Mo makes a frothy eight knots while passing alabaster mountains, great bergs pushing their way up the sound. ...

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Tay Bay to Impatience

16 Aug

Aug 14, 2014
Tay Bay

“Travel in the Arctic takes great patience and great determination,” said Tony Gooch in a recent note. Presuming those two qualities are applied at different moments of a journey, then it’s patience I need now. I itch to be moving. There are still so many miles. 

But Lancaster Sound blows a gale today. So, at calm and quiet Tay we stay. 

We are at the back of the pack now. One boat, Inook, is already S of Bellot Strait; my friends on yellow-hulled Breskell are in Peel Sound with Altego and Morgane and maybe others. ...

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To Tay Bay – Repost with Images

15 Aug

Yes -it’s the same one. But this time with photos.

Aug 11, 2019
From Tay Bay
Bylot Island
73 29 6N  80 45 5W

Departed Hatt Trick Harbor at 9am after a few more surveys of depths in the arms. I wanted to explore the mountains, the back country, to sit on the bluff and watch the snowy peaks on Bylot change colors as the sun circled. But that’s for another adventure. 

Next stop, Tay Bay, sixty miles up Navy Board Inlet.

For a time we sailed on E winds. And then we motor-sailed on W winds. But mostly Mo ...

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